Wednesday, 7 November 2018

A bit on the side

Wow a month has gone by since the last post. Having a large layout has good and bad sides to it. Being a member of various forums I often see finished layouts. The builder is able to make this claim because the layout measures around 2 foot by two foot in size. You wouldn't need to have a shed to put it into. Even set up in a garden tool shed it would get lonely and have enough room to invite three mates over all at the same time. I keep working away on various projects and there are multiple jobs to be completed.
There is no point making a pecking order list of jobs, I would invariably ignore it  just do the next thing I saw when I entered the shed.
As I expect this to be my last layout, I want it to look good and operate well. I hope all the years of practice can be consolidated into this layout. Some modellers are very good at whatever they lay their hands on, but for me it takes a little longer. Have a look at some of the following photographs at my woodwork to see I am not a master carpenter. The layout is strong and guaranteed to hold me up if I ever had to walk on it but why?
Climax 8 with a coal train and an NA on a mixed cross at Pambula
One of the quickest ways of making a layout 'look nice' is to cover up the sides of the layout mainly to be able to hide the junk underneath. This can be achieved by using drop curtains or solid sides. I intend to use both but have been recently cut up some 3mm mdf to make a start on making the layout look pretty. I ordered 5 sheets of 2400mm x 1200mm sheets of mdf and these were brought down to the shed. A shunting manoeuvre was needed to get them around a corner of the layout to their resting place for the time being. Then the next fun bit came when I had to try cutting them up vertically to save another trip outside. After getting some of the sides and baseboard edge bits done I moved them out onto the lawn to give them an undercoat. I didn't use a proper primer paint as I always seem to have leftover 4 litre tins of paint and it was good to be able to nearly finish off a leftover tin. It was a hot humid day and no sooner had I got one sheet done, it was dry and the second one completed. I don't know what drives insects to think they can land on wet paint and then take off again. Sadly it doesn't always work and quite a few insects on the day gave their life up for South Coast Rail. A very light sprinkle of rain on the day saw me rush to put a few up on their sides.
Top and bottom panels in place. Bottom panel to be fixed.
The leftover colour  that the panels were painted in was a pleasing colour called 'Abstract'. Nice as it was it was not a deep enough colour to avoid the inevitable scratches  it will receive over the years to come. It will be painted a more suitable darker grey which is shown in the left hand photo.
I have also fitted another piece that goes directly onto the baseboard edge. I decided to do this section so that I can complete the baseboard of Pambula between the edge of the baseboard and the back scene board.
I must admit it lifts the look of the layout immediately even without its final coat.
Underneath the side panel I have fitted extra boards to support the sheets of mdf. A few spots of contact adhesive will see them fixed into place.
My next project before the sheets are fixed on will be to get some carpet tiles for the floor. Once they are laid under the bottom of the sheets then they will be fixed into place. 
I was asked once why I didn't make the panels removable and couldn't come up with a reason other than once they are there they are there for good. The next time they will need to be removed is when the layout will be demolished. 
The 'corner' at Pambula

The above photo shows off my attempt of carpentry but it has resulted in a solid support despite the final finish. But the good news it will all disappear shortly under scenery.
Pambula - looking better
 One of the downsides of finishing sections of layout is the vanishing work bench space. The above photo shows how quickly unfinished sections of the baseboard become parking areas for junk. So they gradually disappear to other areas when a section becomes finished.
Pambulas corner heading towards Bega

The far end of Pambula
The above photo shows the Bega end of Pambula, the dead end siding is also visible. It also shows the area where the new baseboard work was joined into the original part of the SCR. As rough as it looks now it will all be better when it is finished off complete with scenery.
It looks like the summer 'humidity' switch has been turned on and last week I had my window 'skinny $20' air conditioner switched on. It doesn't do a brilliant job in the whole shed but enough to ensure I will find a project to do down 'that' end of the shed.
Another shot of the crossing of the two trains.
 Another project I have been doing in the shed is to try and get items relative to the Victorian narrow gauge. On the wall of the above shot is a genuine x Puffing Billy timetable that I purchased back on our first visit to Gembrook back in 2016. It was quickly grabbed from the shop at Gembrook station for only two dollars, my prize find. I had to roll it up and even had to carry it on to the plane back to Sydney. I only wish I could obtain more of these genuine Puffing Billy type memorabilia for the shed.
See you next blog.


  1. Steady progress as always Bob. Presumably the moving junk will gravitate towards the concealed underbelly as the scenery progresses.

    cheers Phil

  2. Phil,
    I am actually hoping to get rid of the junk 'underneath' and on top

  3. Bob,
    Order a bigger RED bin from the council, and that will solve your storage problem.

    1. Jim,
      I have a big box of matches and incinerator!